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CfH Lectures


18 January 2012

Looking Backwards for a Better Future: From Traditional Progressivism to Modern Conservatism

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With the social and political change in the Netherlands as an example, we will discuss the emergence of a strong populist movement or at least sentiment in society. Many people fear that the future will not hold any promise for a better life for themselves or their children. Nature, economy and society have proven to be more a risk society than even expected. Neither sustainability nor the integration of nation states within the European Union are seen as attractive prospects for the future. The traditional left-wing parties have great difficulty in fostering policies to the above mentioned goals. Recent empirical research will be available to monitor the development towards modern conservation.

This lecture was given within the framework of the 2012 School of Critical Theory organized by the Centre for the Humanities in Utrecht. The programme was titled ‘Risk Societies and Cosmopolitanism’, and offered trans-national and interdisciplinary approaches drawn from the humanities, social sciences, law, philosophy and international relations. Its focus on the development of cross-national European perspectives in these areas, allows for the innovative use of key notions of cosmopolitanism across different national, cultural and disciplinary traditions. The school consisted of three clusters, which focused on Cosmopolitanism and risk society, Cosmopolitanism and the social responsibility, and Cosmopolitanism and the civic duty of Digital Media.